Sports editor Mark Lea’s column
It’s the most wonderful time of the year when we can enjoy ourselves and maybe even take a break.
Well, I won’t be having much time off work over the festive period – but I won’t be spending several days in the office either.
Three games in just over 48 hours – and a total of five matches in nine days – should keep me busy and, hopefully, entertained as well.
Weather permitting, I’m looking forward to trips to Carter’s Park on Boxing Day, the Haydon Whitham Stadium on Saturday and the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field on Sunday.
It promises to be a good time – particularly when Spalding United take on Evo-Stik League First Division South leaders Sutton Coldfield Town.
Having witnessed how the Tulips missed chances to kick off the season in style at Sutton Coldfield, it will be interesting to see if Pat Rayment’s side can pick up three points this time.
The busy programme packed with fixtures is my highlight of Christmas and New Year.
Despite protests about highly-paid professionals feeling tired and wanting to stay at home, I can’t agree with the annual calls for a winter break.
Let’s be honest, simply following the example of other European leagues by taking a couple of weeks off won’t make any real difference to the fortunes of the England team anyway even if you care.
I’m sure supporters would not want to miss out on the traditions of so many matches in the festive period, followed by the FA Cup third round (even though that usually features Premier League reserve sides).
This is one of the best times all season with derby games, bigger crowds and – for the likes of Spalding and Holbeach United – the prospect of pushing for promotion over the next few months.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – whoever you support.